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Card Games

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Ahnatep's Jackal of Water.

Card games were a staple among the courts of both Alahea and Suvan before the Valterrian. Once the world stopped being torn asunder and people crawled out of their caves and were able to begin rebuilding civilization, cards began to rise to popularity once more.

Though there were some who remembered the basic outline of what a deck of cards should look like, the extremely isolated nature of the populations meant that each region created their own design for the suits and high cards according to their culture. In recent years, the establishment of trade routes and the greater tendency for travel has led to some decks becoming familiar in foreign cities, but most gambling houses and parlors feature only the local deck of that city. Only the Zeltivan Deck remained virtually untouched by the Valterrian, and they actually have an ancient deck from the Alahean Court in the archives of the Old Quarter.

Likewise, many of the games have had their rules passed down by word-of-mouth, so it is not uncommon to find slight variations. It is standard practice before a game begins for the players to clarify both the deck and the rules.

Personal decks - that is, those used outside of taverns or gambling houses - are somewhat uncommon. There is no mass production of cards available, and so each deck is painstakingly handmade and painted. Because of this, a deck of cards can cost as much as a well-made short sword. Numbered cards tend to be simplistically drawn, while more detail is paid to the high cards. The aesthetic of the art is often vastly different depending on the artist, though they stay within the local requirements for suits and high cards.


Card Decks

Taloba's Tiger of Skulls.

Listed here are the deck designs which are most prevalently found in specific regions of Mizahar.

In every case, there are four suits with cards numbering 1-9, and four high cards which follow. Please note that the high card is only a high card - it cannot be either high or low. The lowest card in a Mizaharian deck is the 1 card of each suit. There is no 10 card.

Though every deck contains four suits and four high cards, what those are differs for each region. Some standard decks are listed below for the appropriate region.


  • Endrykas: Like the Syliran deck, suits are composed of Swords, Spears, Shields, and Arrows. The Strider is the high card, followed by the Ankal, the Pavilion, and the Glassbeak. The Riverfall, Syliras, and Ahnatep Decks are recognized in Endrykas.
  • Riverfall: Suits are composed of Gems, Trees, Spears, and Shields. The Father is the highest card, followed by the Son, the Lakan, and the River. The Syliras, Cyphrus, and Wadrass Decks are recognized here.


  • Ahnatep: Suits are composed of Winds, Skulls, Water, and Daggers. The Pressorah is the highest card, followed by the Scepter, the Hawk, and the Jackal. The Riverfall, Cyphrus, and Wadrass Decks are recognized here.
  • Wadrass: Suits are composed of Palms, Skulls, Water, and Suns. The Winged God is the highest card, followed by the Penitent (always shown kneeling), the Temple, and the Water-Bearer (always shown as female). The Ahnatep and Riverfall Decks are recognized here.


  • Black Rock: Suits are composed of Scythes, Tombstones, Coffins, and Hourglasses. The Goddess is the highest card, followed by the Omen, the Spire, and the Lighthouse.
  • Taloba: Suits are composed of Skulls, Glaives, Leaves, and Arrows. The Goddess is the highest card, followed by the Tiger, the Watchtower, and the Basin.


  • Alvadas: No one outside of Alvadas can yet say whether or not the city of illusion has its own deck. Too many things are changeable within its borders to say whether a suit seen once there will ever be seen again. Gamblers the world over know that trying your luck in this city could be your last mistake. However, the Syliras, Riverfall, and Wadrass Decks are found here.
  • Denval: Suits are composed of Swords, Maces, Arrows, and Tridents. The God is the highest card, followed by the Goddess, the Captain, and the Chaplain.
  • Lhavit: Suits are composed of Stars, Peaks, Peonies, and Crystals. The Goddess is the highest card, followed by the Sun and Moon, the Anchorite, and the Okomo.
  • Wind Reach: Suits are composed of Feathers, Arrows, Glass (small square outlines), and Flames. The Eagle is the highest card, followed by the Goddess, the Mountain, and the Bow.

Konti Isle

  • Mura: Suits are composed of Pearls, Suvai, Fish, and Lilies. The Goddess is the highest card, followed by the Ocean King, the Ivaski, and then the Swan.


  • Ravok: Suits are composed of Swords, Spears, Arrows and Suns. The Voice is the highest card, followed by the Dagger, the Ship, and then the Apprentice.
  • Sahova: Suits are composed of Scrolls, Quills, Ships, and Water, just as the Zeltivan deck. However, the Emperor is the highest card, followed by the Queen, the Mage, and the Golem. The Sunberth, Ahnatep, and Zeltiva Decks are recognized here.
  • Sunberth: Suits are composed of Swords, Coins, Arrows, and Fingers (showing two hands, holding up the required number of fingers). The Whip is the highest card, followed by the Broken Shackle, the Pickaxe, and the Slag Heap. The Savoha and Zeltiva Decks are recognized here.
  • Syliras: Suits are composed of Swords, Spears, Shields, and Arrows. The Tree is the highest card, followed by the Knight, the Queen, and then the Page. The Cyphrus and Riverfall Decks are also recognized here.
  • Zeltiva: Suits are composed of Scrolls, Quills, Ships, and Water. The Highest card is the God, followed by the Mountain, the Mage, and the Poet (usually depicted as a woman). The Sunberth, Sahovan, Mura, and Ahnatep Decks are recognized here.


  • Avanthal: Suits are composed of Snowflakes, Trees, Stars, and Spears. The Queen is the highest card, followed by the Icewatch, the Polar Bear, and the Moose.

Card Games

Wind Reach's Five of Feathers.

There are literally hundreds of different card games played throughout Mizahar, though a great many of them are variations on a few core games. Below are the most easily recognized, though the rules are best clarified before playing to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

  • Portraits: The goal of this game is to reach 21 without going over. There are different varieties of this game, but the one most heavily bet on in gambling houses is one in which the originally dealt card is unviewed. The player must bet or stand according to the value of the subsequent face-up cards. This variation is often called Blind Man's Bet.
  • Crows and Crosses: In this game, cards are used to form a pattern on the table with each player adding a card on their turn. Highly strategic.
  • Blush: This is a common card game where five cards are dealt, and then up to three of them are traded for new ones to create specific combinations. It is often played among friends and almost never seen in gambling houses.
  • Stammer and Blush: The more professional version of Blush, this is the type often played by serious gamblers who mean to make money. There is no trading of cards, and instead a group of communal cards are laid down that each player can see and utilize with the pair of cards they are dealt.
  • Helioc: This game came out of the taverns of Riverfall, and sailors have spread it across all the ports of Mizahar. It is a highly competitive game, though considered by many still to be a common game. It is played in pairs and high skill is attributed to those pairs who can call Jakri, which is a particularly difficult strategy wherein the player avoids winning any hands and therefore receives a bonus.
  • Grace: Often considered a lady's game, Grace has long been a favorite among wealthy women. Those who are familiar with the strategy, however, know that it can be as cutthroat as any other game, even though it is often played with coy smiles and honeyed words. There are tales that an Eypharian woman's entire reputation can be made or broken in the Grace salons.
  • Ships: An easy, single-player game used to pass the time.
  • Temple: A slightly more complicated single-player game, the cards are arranged in a triangle pattern and removed according to mathematical sums between the cards.
  • Battle: A game played almost exclusively by children or those first encountering a deck of cards in order to familiarize themselves with how they are scored. Each person flips over a card, and high card wins. If both play the same card, they must continue to flip pairs to decide who wins the pile.